It is true that you need to do something different if you want to experience change, especially when it comes to your health and fitness. As someone who is passionate about improving my health, I’m always looking for tweaks I can make to achieve a healthier life. The area of focus for me lately has been my workspace. As you may know, I now work on my blog full time from home. Initially I set up a small desk in a corner of our formal lounge room and was enjoying being in the family room with people around (typical extrovert) and good lighting. However, as my son Finn has become more active and in need of more attention (he is now 1), I’ve found I really need to focus and be super productive with the small amounts of time I have to work. So I’ve cleared out one of our spare rooms and have made it my office. There are a few positive changes in my new office set up that I think would also be able to help increase your focus and create a work environment that you not only find comfortable and practical but one that will help improve your physical and mental health.
So what changes have I made to my workplace?
Standing more with my Standing Desk
My first change to my new workplace was adding a VARIDESK. This is a sit-stand desk, which I’ve had for the last two weeks and I’m in love already! I had found myself spending too many hours hunched over my laptop, with my eyes going blurry as I leaned closer to my screen. I knew something had to change, my back wouldn’t hold up much longer between slouching at the computer and carrying my Finn around all day! So, I took up the challenge to stand more in my day.
Since getting the VARIDESK, I’ve been able to stand much more, which has increased the calories I burn, helped improve my blood circulation and I feel like I’ve been much more active in my day. But something else happens almost intuitively when I stand in front of my workstation: my posture straightens and I use my core to hold me steady. I am poised in a position that screams focus! So not only have I been more productive, I’ve been improving my core strength at the same time! Being mindful of these muscles has helped me to engage my core and lower back muscles when I workout too. See my set up in these pictures above and below, I use the VARIDESK ProPlus 36 white, as well as an ActiveMat Groove for my feet – the extra cushioning has taken any pressure off my feet and back from the hard floor. The best part though is the foot massage that you get from the roller ball in the middle of the mat! For all my friends who work 9am-5pm out there, you need this! Work-(active) life balance is a ‘thing’ now in the corporate world, so why not?
I will admit, my feet did get sore at first! But the whole idea of this is that I can sit down as well. A few times I’ve found myself starting to lean and rely on the VARIDESK (lucky it is durable enough to handle the weight of me leaning on it, not to mention my water and other nick-knacks it holds steady!). This is when I know it is time for me to sit down and readdress my posture, so I readjust the desk height to suit. Which I might add, is super easy to do! It’s actually one of the reasons I wanted a VARIDESK because it has the SMOOTHEST and steadiest transition, so I am never worried that my computer or other items will fall off when it’s time to transition to sitting down.
I also loved this standing desk because it came assembled. If there’s an option not to fiddle around with instructions, or sift through boxes for screws and then have to turn the house upside down to find the screwdriver to put it together, only to finish and figure out I’ve put it together wrong – I’ll take it! Who’s with me?! …Can you tell I’ve wasted too much time on things like that in the past!?
I Have Water Ready and Snacks Planned
A few other things I do to bring health into my workplace is keep my water filled up on my desk, that way I am mindful to drink it and can get my 2-3 litres per day. If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding some berries or lemon for some flavour. There are multiple health benefits of drinking sufficient water everyday, not least of them is weight loss. Keeping up your water assists your body to be healthy without you needing to do much at all! The food that we use to fuel our body is also important, not only for our physical health but our mental health and concentration too. I prep my meals ahead of time as if I was going to any other workplace for the day. I keep healthy snacks on my VARIDESK so that when temptation comes, I’ve got something ready to go! Snacking on these helps stop me from making poor food choices later.
Lastly, I like to take a break in my day to get outdoors. Being outside at lunchtime lightens my mood, allows me the option to get some exercise, get a dose of vitamin D and refreshes me to help me think clearly for the afternoon ahead. Remember, if you’re using your lunch break to get moving, this doesn’t need to be intense. If you’re like me and not one to want to have to shower and redo your make up, just go for a quick walk around the block, I promise you will feel better for it! I always do!
What Will You Change in your workplace?
So I’ve made some changes, what about you? Making a few small changes all adds up when it comes to your health. So much of our time is spent at work, so it’s time to look at what you can change to help improve your overall physical and mental health whilst at work. Why don’t you try standing more during your day? Get yourself a VARIDESK (you can only buy these online) to improve your health and give you a little more work-(active) life balance. Standing more whilst working really made me feel so much better and I’m sure it will improve my posture too. Look for other ways to include incidental exercise in your workday too, like using the stairs rather than the lift, or walking to a restroom that is further away Maybe you can swap those unhealthy cookies for a piece of fruit? Or cut back from four coffees to two? Could you go for a walk around the block?
I’d love to hear what you’ve done differently to make your workplace healthier. Did the changes make any improvements to how you felt? Let me know in the comments below!